Morristown, TN Social Security Disability Lawyer for SSD Benefits

Morristown, TN Social Security Disability LawyerIf you are no longer able to work because of a debilitating illness, injury, or medical condition, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.  Roughly 6.4% of the over 4 million Tennessee residents receive benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSD”), a tax-funded program providing monetary assistance in the form of monthly income to those who are disabled and unable to work for at least one year.[1]  However, applying for SSD is complicated, and navigating the process to obtain benefits requires substantial knowledge of disability laws, deadlines, and filing protocols.

At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we are committed to providing the assistance clients need throughout the SSD process.  Whether you are filing an initial application or need to appeal a denial, our Tennessee Social Security Disability attorney and staff are ready to help in seeking a favorable determination.  For a free consultation, please call 276-623-0808 to get started.  We handle cases in Morristown and the surrounding communities, including, but not limited to, Wolf Acres, Lowland, Woodcrest Hills, Russellville, Talbot, Whitesburg, White Pine, and Wilderness Shores.

What is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD), and How Do I Qualify for Benefits?

SSD is a program that offers monthly Social Security Disability payments to individuals under age 65 who have qualifying disabilities and sufficient work credits.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) determines benefit eligibility by looking at the years an applicant worked and their total yearly wages or self-employment income, which are measured using a credit system.

The amount of earnings needed to earn work credits changes from year to year.  In 2020, for example, one credit can be earned for each $1,410 in income, up to a maximum of four credits.  The number of work credits needed to qualify for disability benefits depends on the age when a person becomes disabled.  Generally, 40 credits are required, 20 of which must be obtained in the ten years preceding the date of the disability.  However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.[2]

Calculating SSD eligibility can be complicated, especially if you are young and do not have a long work history.  As a Morristown social security lawyer, Mark Hurt can calculate your work credits, determine your potential benefit eligibility, and explain your options.

Does My Medical Condition Qualify as a Disability?

The SSA’s definition of disability is different than other government programs.  To qualify for SSD, an applicant must be totally disabled, meaning that benefits are not payable for partial or short-term disability.[3]

The SSA considers an individual disabled if:

  • They are unable to perform work that they did previously;
  • The SSA decides that they cannot perform other types of work; and
  • The disability lasts or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.[4]

In assessing whether a person is disabled, the SSA utilizes the following five-step process:

  • Step 1 – Are you working? Applicants earning more than $1,260 per month generally cannot be considered disabled.  However, for those individuals who are unable to work, the application will be sent to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) offices that will make a determination regarding the medical condition.  In making this decision, DDS uses Steps 2 through 5.
  • Step 2 – Is your condition Severe? An impairment must significantly limit the ability to engage in basic work (such as standing, lifting, walking, sitting, and remembering) for at least twelve months.
  • Step 3 – Is your condition found in the list of SSA disabling conditions? The SSA maintains a list of medical conditions[5] that are considered so severe that they prevent a person from engaging in substantial gainful activity.  Impairments on the list are considered disabilities.  However, if a condition is not listed, the SSA must make an individual determination as to whether the medical condition is as severe as a disability on the list.  If a precise determination cannot be made, steps 4 and 5 must be evaluated.
  • Step 4 – Can you perform the work you did previously? If an individual can perform any of their past work, they will not have a qualifying disability.
  • Step 5 – Can you do any other type of work? If previous work cannot be completed, the SSA will evaluate whether other work can be accomplished despite an impairment.  If other work can be performed, benefits will likely be denied.

Evaluating whether a condition constitutes a disability under SSA rules can be difficult; as a Tennessee Social Security Disability law firm, we can assess your condition to determine whether your impairment satisfies the SSA disability definition. 

Where Can I Apply for Disability Benefits in Tennessee?

You can apply for SSD benefits in three different ways:

  • Online. SSD applicants can apply online at https://www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/.
  • In-Person. Applications can be submitted in-person at a local Social Security Office.  To find a Tennessee field office, visit https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp.
  • By Phone. Benefits can also be applied for by telephone at 1-800-772-1213. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can contact the SSA at TTY 1-800-325-0778.

While it is possible to self-file for disability payments, it is not advisable, as the application process is cumbersome, and even minor mistakes or omissions can result in benefits being delayed or denied.  Importantly, if an application is denied, even for a minor error, it’s not possible to simply correct the error and get a claim approved.  Instead, an appeal must be made, which often can take several months.  When you hire our firm, we can evaluate your case, gather medical evidence, and apply on your behalf, helping to lessen your burden and the chances of unexpected delays.

Will I Qualify for SSD Benefits in Tennessee?

Most initial Social Security Disability applications are denied; however, the rate of approval varies from state to state.  There are generally three steps in the SSD application process: the initial application, reconsideration, and an appeal hearing.  The following are the Tennessee disability claim approvals (at each stage) as compared to the national rates:

  • Initial Application:
    • Tennessee 24%
    • National 32%
  • Reconsideration:
    • Tennessee 7%
    • National 11%
  • Appeal Hearing:
    • Tennessee 9%
    • National 58%[6]

The SSA has stringent guidelines that require examiners to reject an application unless all requirements are met.  Despite having a qualifying disability, many SSD applicants are denied benefits because of critical mistakes in not complying with application requirements or failing to submit adequate medical documentation.  However, with the assistance of an experienced Social Security disability attorney, many of these minor errors are avoidable.

When an individual is represented by an attorney, the odds of receiving an approval increase substantially, and the length of time needed to secure benefits generally decreases significantly.  Consequently, the best option for most claimants will be to hire an attorney as soon as possible, especially if benefits are denied, and an appeal is needed.  As an experienced SSD attorney, Mark Hurt can assist in preparing an initial application or in filing an appeal (if necessary) to secure timely benefit payments potentially.

How Long Does the SSD Application Process Take?

The initial application process generally takes three to five months to complete; however, it can extend additional months, or even years, if benefits are denied.  Usually, there are four levels of appeal:

  • Reconsideration;
  • Hearing by an administrative law judge;
  • Review by the Appeals Council; and
  • Federal Court review.[7]

Each appeal level is lengthy.  For example, in Tennessee, the average wait time for an administrative hearing is 11 months, and it usually takes an additional 392 days for administrative law judges to render a decision.[8]  Considering the long wait times at each stage, it is in an applicant’s best interest to secure a favorable determination quickly.  By hiring a Tennessee Social Security Disability attorney, most individuals can receive approval through a reconsideration or administrative hearing, eliminating the need for further review.

If you were denied benefits, we can compile medical documentation and evidence, prepare an appeal, and advocate on your behalf to potentially secure benefits quickly, without having to exhaust all appeal options.

How Much Does a SSD Lawyer Cost?

Federal law generally limits the fees charged by Social Security disability lawyers to 25% of the backpay amount, or $6,000, whichever is lower.  Although, if multiple appeal hearings are needed, a lawyer is permitted to file a petition with the SSA to allow the fee to exceed the maximum.

At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we represent disabled clients on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that we do not receive a fee unless benefits are awarded.  Additionally, we only charge a fee on back pay benefits, meaning that you keep 100% of future payments.  If you hire our firm, the SSA will likely withhold 25% of your past-due benefits and pay the money directly to our firm.  Consequently, you will avoid the hassle of arranging payments for our services.    

At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, We Work Hard to Obtain Benefits for Clients

Hiring an attorney can significantly increase your chances of receiving disability benefits, but it is crucial to secure a lawyer who is well-versed in disability law.

For over thirty years, Mark Hurt has been successfully representing clients, and he has helped secure millions of dollars in benefits, settlements, and awards.   He obtained his law degree (with honors) from Duke University, and has tried jury cases and argued appeals before state appellate courts, federal district and appellate courts, and before the United States Supreme Court.

At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we understand Social Security disability law, how to navigate the application process, and what it takes to secure benefits. Whether you are filing an initial application or need representation for an appeal from a denial, our experienced team can guide you through every step of the process.  Call our office today to schedule a free consultation to learn about the benefits to which you may be entitled.


[1] Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2017, Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/di_asr/2017/di_asr17.pdf.

[2] Benefits Planner: Disability| How You Qualify, Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/planners/disability/qualify.html

[3] Benefits Planner: Disability | How to Qualify, Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/planners/disability/qualify.html#anchor3.

[4] Id.

[5] Medical/Professional Relations, Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/listing-impairments.htm.

[6] Research, Statistics & Policy Analysis, Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/policy/.

[7] The Appeals Process, Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10041.pdf.

[8] Once denied disability benefits, Tennesseans face long waits to appeal, Tennessean, https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2019/01/06/denied-disability-how-appeal-tennessee/2339794002/.

 

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What Our Clients Say

I'm an out of state driver who received a speeding ticket in smyth county. Mark Hurt Law firm helped me get the charge completely dismissed at a very affordable cost! Great Firm , highly recommend!
Luke Robinson
Luke Robinson
21:48 22 Apr 21
A very professional team who understands the stress of being in an accident. Our paralegal, Courtney Cormier, made us always feel as if things were being taken care of and it was nice to be worry free.
Kristina Murray
Kristina Murray
18:29 03 Mar 21
Diana Phipps
Diana Phipps
13:46 03 Mar 21
After my car accident, Mr. Hurt and his team worked very diligently to get me a fair settlement. Courtney Cormier, a paralegal on the team, was an invaluable asset to me. She always kept me informed of everything that was happening. I couldn't have had a better experience.
Caleb & Kristina Murray
Caleb & Kristina Murray
21:54 22 Feb 21
I could not be more pleased with the service I received. He is a wonderful lawyer and he gets the job done.
Country living woman Mountains
Country living woman Mountains
05:52 22 Dec 20
This law firm has great people skills and are very professional and efficient I would definitely recommend anyone to this law firm.
Lucas Green
Lucas Green
18:06 06 Dec 20
Courtney done a very good job with my case at the abingdon va office very quick and efficient great job highly reccomended my auto accident was in may and alreadh we have settled for maximum amount thanks so much
James Smith
James Smith
06:57 05 Dec 20
I contacted the law offices of Mark T. Hurt regarding a traffic ticket I received. Initially I was concerned because I live between Florida and New York, and with Virginia being midway, handling my ticket would be a major inconvenience, and I wanted to keep my record free of any infractions.Choosing Mark T. Hurt to represent me was the best choice I made, and it was further improved with the assistance of Rhonda, who contacted me once they received my request. Rhonda is one of those unique people who has mastered the fine line between being perfectly professional and friendly. Every conversation we had, was made to feel as if I were speaking to a close friend. One of the most appreciated aspects of working with her was her understanding and respectful of my schedule and time.For my work, I have a hectic schedule and very few free moments, so being able to handle things quickly and effectively is a priority for me, and Rhonda understood that and took care of everything as if she knew exactly what I was expecting. I even got sick while working with Rhonda, and her first comment was to wish me well. She also went out of her way to find solutions regarding my traffic citation that worked around my schedule. The price was fair, and when considering the quality of work and more importantly, the quality of people you will be reliant upon to ensure the best possible outcome for whatever your situation is, they can ask for 10x more than what I paid and it would still be worth it.All in all, recommendation for this law office, and for Rhonda herself, could not be higher. If you are searching for someone to represent you in any legal matter whatsoever, this is the office to work with. Thank you again Rhonda.
Al Fortunatti
Al Fortunatti
00:47 07 Nov 20
My lawyer Courtney in charge of my case was very professional, and very responsive to my personal injury and auto claim. She had it settled in a timely manner very polite and I would recommend this office to anyone.
Samantha Mays
Samantha Mays
21:28 06 Nov 20
I would highly recommend this law firm! Courtney helped me with my personal injury case, she answered all my questions and was always responsive throughout the entire process.She advocated for me efficiently and strived for the best possible outcome.
SCTC-Kimberly Dickey
SCTC-Kimberly Dickey
17:16 27 Oct 20
I'm not a Virgina resident and had found this firm through Google. I have a traffic violation case in tennessee and was desperate to get awnsers. This law office's staff was so helpful even though I wasn't able to even be a client, I believe the person who awnsered was Ashley. After their direction on finding another attorney and my case I was able to push my court date back and will be able to find someone to represent me.I'm not even a client, they didn't have to help me at all! I just wish they practiced in the tri cities area! Would recommend this group!
Benjamin Smith
Benjamin Smith
18:34 22 Oct 20
I contacted the affordable Law Offices of Mark T Hunt regarding a ticket I received. They requested certain documents from me, went to court on my behalf and got the ticket dismissed! The entire process was easy, fast and efficient. When I emailed or texted them their response time was impeccable!I would HIGHLY recommend them if you are looking for a professional attorney!
Davina Waller
Davina Waller
16:41 22 Oct 20
Under the circumstances that I had to have an encounter with Mr. Hurt, if I needed another team to represent me, I wouldn't hesitate for a second. The sheer communication that I had with Ashley was phenomenal. I was informed every step of the way. I was directed to each step of the process. I thoroughly enjoyed working with this law firm and would HIGHLY reccomend them. They were able to have my ticket completely dropped with no points added. Thank you all so much for all your hard work you did for me.
Chris Sanders
Chris Sanders
16:56 21 Oct 20
Mark and his team were very professional and courteous. They done a excellent job with my traffic ticket. I would highly recommend them.
Shannon Hanes
Shannon Hanes
16:26 21 Oct 20
My son got a speeding ticket in Virginia going back to school in Alabama. We contacted Mark Hurts office and they were very responsive and handled the entire situation for us.
Mary Ellen Fennell
Mary Ellen Fennell
22:54 20 Oct 20
The Law Offices of Mark Hurt made the process of dismissing my ticket so effortless! They were told me all the steps I needed to take to make Mr. Hurt’s job easier, and he was able to dismiss my ticket! I’m so thankful I used Mark Hurt to represent me in court. I would highly recommend him to anyone I know.
Cristina Marie
Cristina Marie
16:33 15 Oct 20
Friendly. Efficient. Professional.I’m thankful!
Moody Witoutcoffee
Moody Witoutcoffee
03:56 09 Oct 20
Rafael Oliveira
Rafael Oliveira
11:13 06 Oct 20
Cleber Bandi
Cleber Bandi
00:06 06 Oct 20
Lindaura Williams
Lindaura Williams
23:47 05 Oct 20
Flavia Oliver
Flavia Oliver
14:48 05 Oct 20
T. O.
T. O.
19:55 03 Oct 20
anita R Oliveira
anita R Oliveira
15:25 03 Oct 20
I highly recommend anyone to choose The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their issues! They were extremely nice, helpful, and professional, especially Courtney! Every question and concern was always answered. I am thankful for all their help!!
Brittany Gobble
Brittany Gobble
17:35 29 Sep 20
They were very helpful, and answered all of the questions I had, and got great results from my court hearing, I would highly recommend!
Bodie Breitbach
Bodie Breitbach
15:49 21 Sep 20
This law firm is the best of the best and Courtney was just wonderful in every aspect. Extremely helpful and answers every question and always willing to help! Mark Hurt and his crew are the best! Thank you all for helping my family in a very difficult time. Highly recommend.
Tony Statzer
Tony Statzer
14:41 17 Sep 20
Late in July I was charged with a reckless driving ticket in Greenville County, Virginia. I got caught going 83mph in a 55mph zone. It was my first offense on my driving record and I did not need a misdemeanor which could hurt my career. I was assured by Mrs Rhonda Hurt not to worry and that her team would take care of it. On my end, the only effort I put in was taking a 12 hour defensive driving course and sending her my driving record. Two months later, the result of my hearing was a reduction to a defective equipment/non driving violation with 0 points off my record. The other good part about this case was I did not have to go to court. In court fees I paid $68 and a fine of $78 for my ticket. Mrs. Rhonda and her team put together a miracle in that county and I cannot give her enough credit. I sincerely recommend this firm because I know they worked hard on my case and will do the same for you. Thank you again!
Marqus Keith
Marqus Keith
14:54 15 Sep 20
I highly recommend this law firm! Rhonda answered all my questions regarding social security questions and she put my nerves at ease! Im so thankful for her kind spirit and her honesty!
Catina Ratliff
Catina Ratliff
17:51 05 Sep 20
The law offices of mark hurt was very good to me and my family great people great service and great results courtney was our paralegal that presided over the case could not have asked for more to be done.
Danny Kiser
Danny Kiser
18:34 31 Aug 20
I got a traffic ticket while I traveled passing through VA in May.It is a big deal if you have the Law Section: 44-1/46/2-862 and speeding excess of 80 MPH in your ticket. It is a Criminal Misdemeanor Reckless Driving Charge!I saw Mark T. Hurt's Law office simple letter, I decided to give a call and get a free consultation.From the call, Rhonda provided a detail explaining the criminal charge of the Misdemeanor Reckless Driving ticket is about. She is a very caring and honest person, no sale pressure to me to take their law office at all.Once I decided to use their firm to represent me in court, it didn't take an hour, I was told totake some actions and wait for cout day to see the result. That is that simple and no worry at all. On the court date, I received text messages from lawyer's office. Guess what? The lawyer did a miraculous and fantastic job for me in the court.The Reckless Driving Misdemeanor ticket has been reduced to an Improper Driving traffic ticket.Thanks to Mark T. Hurt's Law office team! They are not only very professional and transparent but also does the best quality job you can find. I strongly recommend them to be your lawyer if you need one in VA.
C.Y. Kuan
C.Y. Kuan
01:07 23 Aug 20
Having landed a Reckless Driving (99 in a 65) on my way back to FL from WV, I came across this law firm when searching something along "best reckless driving lawyers Virginia."Mr. Hurt's firm dropped my "Criminal Misdemeanor" to an improper driving. Which from my understanding is right next to a normal speeding ticket.All expenses accounted (payment, court cost, fine), I'm out roughly $1,100 ; but I'd much rather pay that once today, than every six months to an insurance company for the next... God knows how many years. I am extremely grateful and overjoyed with my outcome.As far as speaking with the great ladies at these offices, everyone was always kind, quick, and considerate. They answered all my questions, explained all my options and possible outcomes. I had a clean record, and had now experience dealing with courts or lawyers, so their patience and knowledge was especially helpful. If I ever screw up again (I pray to God I don't) I hope it's in Virginia, so I can call upon Mr. Hurt's offices.
Nomadic Wolf
Nomadic Wolf
21:06 21 Aug 20
I would like to thank Hope for helping me get my SSDI. She was a true professional a great help with my success. great asset to the law firm and honest lady could not ask for anyone better. Thank You, David
David Harden
David Harden
21:17 20 Aug 20
I had a miracle outcome
jose feliz
jose feliz
22:14 18 Aug 20
I got stop in wyth county saw good reviews on Law of Mark, i can say i highly recomend them, got stop 79mph on a 60mph, they all i had to pay was a low amounth of $200 fine plus court cost $76 and they got me out with zero point infraction, if you looking for lawyer on traffic tickets here its the place to go with! Very professional and representatives will be there to help any time!
Brisio Gaza
Brisio Gaza
23:12 15 Aug 20
This law firm is the up most professional and highly knowledgeable in it's field of work. Courtney is awesome and a pleasure to work with she is the best at her job. We highly recommend this law firm!
Christy Statzer
Christy Statzer
02:52 11 Aug 20
Courtney Cormier and the law office, was amazing! Courtney was very efficient, timely, and responsive. I had an issue with a previous employee, but due to that, Mr. Hurt wanted to ensure that I was completely satisfied, so he made adjustments on his fee, just to make sure I was happy! You couldn't ask for a better paralegal or law office! I highly recommend this firm!
Jessica Ann Roberts
Jessica Ann Roberts
20:10 30 Jul 20
I called seeking help with a traffic ticket I received. I spoke to the legal assistant, Ashley and she was very helpful.
Nathan
Nathan
13:54 30 Jul 20
my Attorney Courtney Cormier was amazing and very helpful and patient with me and the case and always keep me updated on all the steps and procedures of the process i would definitely recommend her and this office they are amazing
Branden Lewis
Branden Lewis
15:24 21 Jul 20
These guys got my reckless driving charge of a 94 in 70 down to a improper driving. You won’t regret hiring them to help you out!
Haley Walser
Haley Walser
23:22 20 Jul 20
Great experience with Courtney Cormier! Thanks for the professional help!
Alisha Fagan
Alisha Fagan
16:26 20 Jul 20
Thank you for doing the best you guys did an amazing job with my case I appreciate everyone that worked on my case I definitely recommend this law firm!!
Abdullah Shaikh
Abdullah Shaikh
14:56 16 Jul 20
Great people! Very helpful and professional.
Heather Foster
Heather Foster
21:53 15 Jul 20
Wonderful, family oriented law firm. The staff are very attentive and courteous especially Courtney. I highly recommend this legal establishment!
Duane Cormier
Duane Cormier
17:25 15 Jul 20
Amazing group of people to work with Courtney is fantasticI would highly recommend this group
Kara Ginter-Hensley
Kara Ginter-Hensley
21:41 14 Jul 20
Great firm!! Diana will walk you through everything you need to take care of a traffic ticket.
Braden Alexander
Braden Alexander
19:28 14 Jul 20
They are very professional, and respectful with everybody, including one of his employees, Rafael
Flavia Oliver
Flavia Oliver
17:01 14 Jul 20
The personnel who work here are constiment professionals. Rhonda Hurt kept me abreast of all proceedings and changes without the need for me to follow up, allowing me to maintain a piece of mind knowing that the Law Offices of Mark T Hurt were on the job (Rhonda kept me up to date through text and e-mail).During the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak all court dates were changed. I received a personalized letter from Mark assuring me that he and his team was on the job and was going to see my case through to the end while keeping me looped in.Thank you for all your help and persistence to see the great outcome I received.I highly recommend anyone to use the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their issues!
Jon H
Jon H
11:34 13 Jul 20
They are a hard working team that care about their clients.
Frederick Baker II
Frederick Baker II
05:13 26 Jun 20
Fast, professional, and friendly. One of the best we have had for our family case and would HIGHLY recommend!!
Jonathan Mora
Jonathan Mora
19:13 04 May 20